June 29, 2017—The National Safety Council and founding coalition partner FCA US (Chrysler) launched Check To Protect, a new national public awareness campaign urging drivers to check their vehicles for and promptly address any open recalls.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are currently more than one in four—or 53 million—vehicles with an open recall (which includes 65 percent of Takata inflators that remained unfixed) posing a risk for drivers and others on the road. The need to address open recalls is particularly urgent as 2016 saw the sharpest increase in motor vehicle fatalities in more than 50 years, said the National Safety Council.
The problem is worse among drivers of older or used vehicles. In August 2015, The Auto Alliance and Global Automakers conducted a national online survey of 1,500 vehicle owners, including more than 1,000 owners who had received a recall in the previous 1-2 years. They found that recall compliance completion rates for newer vehicles is 83 percent. However, that rate is just 44 percent for vehicles five to 10 years old. They are less likely to have their recalls repaired, as they are less likely to use authorized dealerships for maintenance and repairs, and they may not receive recall notifications through the traditional systems if they did not purchase their vehicles from a dealership.
"Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "When vehicles are in top form, they reduce critical risks. Unfortunately, too many drivers are complacent when it comes to recalls, or they are unsure whether their car is subject to one. Check To Protect should help close that knowledge gap and, by extension, make our roads safer."